On my way out to Haiti for my second trip I was curious about what I would find and whether things had changed since my last visit in November. With recent news reports around the first anniversary of the earthquake claiming nothing was being done I was hoping to see some signs of progress.
I was pleased to see some small improvements. Piles of rubble that had previously blocked some of the roads through town were now gone and some construction work was now taking place. Small changes, but nevertheless signs that things are moving along, even if at a slower pace that we would like.
But Haiti is not something we can fix overnight. We need to remind ourselves of how vulnerable this country was before the earthquake. Haiti had been described as the ‘forgotten crisis’ and we must ensure that we continue to support the Haitian people to rebuild their lives.
The people of Haiti have had endure so many challenges in 2010 — the earthquake, Hurricane Thomas and then the cholera outbreak. Because the earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, the capital city, this created other challenging problems in terms of space, land issues and the decimation of an already weak government.
Let’s hope 2011 will be kinder to this beleaguered country.
Despite all of the problems what really strikes me is how people seem to carry on with a smile on their faces and find their own ways of coping. On every street corner there are small businesses, signs of enterprising Haitians trying to make the best of the little they have available. I wonder whether if, in the face of such adversity, we would be able to deal with things in such a positive way. I somehow doubt it!